Obituary: Violist and teacher Karen Tuttle, 90

Posted on: January 3, 2011

In the December 24 issue of The New York Times, Margalit Fox reported, “Karen Tuttle, a violist and teacher whose singular approach to her instrument—which entailed the expression of deep feeling, the attainment of great physical comfort and occasionally the literal rending of garments—drew disciples from around the world, died on Dec. 16 at her home in Philadelphia. She was 90. The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, her daughter, Robin Herskowitz Heald, said. For decades a ubiquitous soloist and chamber musician, Ms. Tuttle was praised by critics for her incisive musicianship and large, luminous sound. She was variously a member of the Schneider, Galimir and Gotham Quartets. She recorded widely and taught at the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Peabody Institute and elsewhere. Ms. Tuttle’s students have included some of the best-known violists in the world, among them Kim Kashkashian, Jeffrey Irvine and Carol Rodland. … Ms. Tuttle’s approach, which came to be known as the Karen Tuttle Coordination Technique, emphasized the release of tension, both physical and mental, while playing.”

Posted January 3, 2011